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Project Information

A Historical Perspective

UT’s Academic Enrichment Upward Bound (AEUB) Program is a pre-college program funded by the US Department of Education for high school students in the 10th through 12th grades. Upward Bound programs have been in existence for over 35 years across the country and at the University of Tennessee since 1981. These programs were specifically created to help potential first-generation college students and students from families who meet income guidelines established by the federal government graduate from high school, attend college, and reach their full potential while in college. These programs also provide tutoring, ACT preparation, college and career information, instruction in academics, cultural enrichment, and social counseling on a one-to-one basis with students. Students also have a chance to experience what college might be like following the 10th and 11th grade through a four-week residential program on UT’s campus during the summer.

Who is Eligible?

The UT AEUB program accepts applications and nominations from 10th and 11th graders. Students entering the AEUB program must be enrolled in one of the following high schools: Anderson County, Austin-East, Central, or Clinton High School.

All students must:

  1. Meet family income guidelines established by the federal government;
  2. Be a potential first-generation college student (neither parent has a four-year college degree);
  3. Complete the entire application package;
  4. Complete an interview at UT with at least one parent/guardian;
  5. Provide at least two recommendations from current high school guidance counselor and one teacher;
  6. Provide signed commitment of parental support;
  7. Want to pursue a career that requires a college education; and
  8. Demonstrate a willingness and desire to actively participate in all program activities.

How to Apply

Step 1: Pick up an application from your high school guidance counselor, print one from the applications page of the AEUB website, or call the CAPS Outreach Center at 865-974-4466.

Step 2: Complete the entire application and return it to your high school guidance counselor or the AEUB representative visiting your school each week.

Step 3: An AEUB staff member will contact you after your application is received to provide you with more details.

Student Responsibilities

The UT AEUB program staff realizes that it takes a very special student to be considered for the program. Each Upward Bounder, upon acceptance, makes a commitment to the following:

  • Attend all Saturday sessions;
  • Attend field trips to various colleges and universities throughout the year;
  • Attend weekly meetings at their high schools with the Upward Bound staff members;
  • Commit to enrolling in college prep classes at their high schools each semester; and
  • Commit to attending a four-week residential summer component at UT.

Saturday Sessions

There are Saturday sessions held on the UT campus for students in the AEUB program throughout the academic year. They are combinations of academics, tutoring, college visits, and cultural enrichment activities. Most Saturday sessions consist of classes in math, science, and English, along with foreign language, ACT prep, scholar’s bowl, and math and science tutoring. Other Saturday sessions may consist of visiting local college campuses around the area or attending a play, visiting an art museum, or participating in other cultural activities. Saturday Sessions are for the benefit of the students providing assistance with academics, college planning, and cultural enrichment while in high school.

Be a Torchbearer

The Torchbearers is an opportunity for students to show their commitment to AEUB through participation in check-ins, Saturday sessions, good grades and community service, and by going the extra mile to reach their goals. Being a member of the Torchbearers allows students to attend special field trips, be a buddy to a new student, be a teacher’s aide, and have a leadership role in the AEUB program. Students are selected yearly and chosen based on eligibility requirements, completion of the Torchbearers application, submission of an Upward Bound portfolio, and a personal interview with the Torchbearers committee.

Summer Component

The AEUB summer component consists of a six-week learning opportunity. Four weeks is spent in a residential camp at UT Knoxville, giving students a chance to experience what college life is like firsthand. The students live in a residence hall while taking academic classes in science, English, math, foreign language, computer, and ACT prep that will prepare them for their classes the following year in school. They also have an opportunity to attend lectures given by guest speakers about careers, colleges, financial aid, and college life; participate in recreational activities such as sports, scholar’s bowl, and movies; and attend special events on campus. At the end of the summer component, students may have an opportunity participate in a three-day trip to places of interest like Washington, DC, Chicago, and St. Louis.

Bridge Component

The Bridge component offers a unique opportunity for students who excel during their Upward Bound experience. Seniors apply for a Bridge slot in early January. Students selected for Bridge attend UT during the summer immediately following their high school graduation. Students are required to take classes that will transfer to their intended college in the fall. Tutoring and counseling are also available through the Upward Bound office. All services, tuition, and fees are paid by the AEUB program. This total scholarship equals almost $6,500 per student.

Staff Promise

The AEUB staff is committed to providing quality services to our students. We do not take our jobs lightly. Our commitment to you is the following: If you ever feel that we are not doing our jobs to your satisfaction, please let us know. We will take every measure to correct our actions and get back on track immediately.

AEUB High Schools

  • Anderson County
  • Austin East
  • Central
  • Clinton